Journal news

CPD by the sea in Wales

Vets Cymru – a two-day CPD event for vets and nurses working in small and large animal practice – takes place in Aberystwyth on 28 and 29 June, organised by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the Wales Veterinary Science Centre. Four streams of clinically led CPD, will be supported by a commercial exhibition and a social calendar that includes a traditional Welsh Twmpath, a dance night on the seafront. Vet David Church will give a lecture on small animal endocrinology and Sue Paterson will lecture on dermatology. Fyrnwy Equine Group will provide a half day of equine lectures in the large animal stream. Burtons Veterinary Equipment is sponsoring a practical endoscopy event and the BVA will lead discussions on antibiotic resistance and medicines control. The chief veterinary officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, will give a welcome address at a drinks reception on the Friday evening. More...

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The Royal Veterinary College awarded an honorary fellowship to Michael Lairmore, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California, Davis, in recognition of his outstanding leadership in veterinary medicine and One Health. Under Lairmore, UC Davis has grown as a leader in developing new veterinary medical practices and fostered new discoveries in veterinary and human health. It has also made major advances in student diversity, and has significantly expanded the number of women in leadership positions.

MSD Animal Health has announced that Amie Wilson of Ashbrook Equine Hospital, Cheshire, has been awarded its 2018 veterinary surgeon research bursary in the companion animal sector. Her research proposal is on current equine vaccination practices and protocols used by vets in the UK. Applications for the 2019 vet surgeon bursaries will open in August and details can be found at

Hamilton Specialist Referrals has announced that David Sajik...

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To ban or not to ban - that is the question

When it comes to the effects of African swine fever (ASF), China gets much attention. That is understandable. China is home to around half the world’s pigs, and the situation in China is grave.

However, what is sometimes forgotten, at least by those not directly involved in work concerning transboundary animal diseases, is that ASF is also present on the UK’s very own doorstep.

Within the EU, the disease has been endemic on the island of Sardinia for several decades, and in recent years it has been spreading in mainland sections of the EU too, following outbreaks in the neighbouring Caucasus region in 2007.

There have been recurrent outbreaks in eastern EU member states since 2014 – suggesting possible gaps in biosecurity at the bloc’s easternmost fringe. Furthermore, last year the virus appeared (worryingly) to have ‘jumped’ within the EU when it was detected in wild boar in Belgium...

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Defra to issue ASF warnings at UK airports

By Josh Loeb

Defra is stepping up efforts to protect the UK from African swine fever (ASF).

The department is poised to launch a major new poster campaign at airports, ports and train stations to warn international passengers about the risk of ASF being unintentionally introduced into the UK via pork products brought in from affected countries.

The posters will aim to warn passengers arriving from all ASF-affected countries – including China, Russia, Romania and Poland – about the dangers.

The move follows warnings from some senior UK vets that the government has not been sufficiently proactive in protecting the UK from ASF.

National Pig Association (NPA) chief executive Zoe Davies said individuals at Defra had been put under pressure during meetings with the pig industry about their apparent lack of urgency.

However, she welcomed what she described as a fresh ‘escalation’ of the issue up the government’s ‘risk...

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What is the risk to the uk?

An ASF outbreak in the UK could cost the UK economy £45 million.

The figure – an estimate by Defra – is calculated as the cost of a ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ based on an outbreak affecting 20–30 farms.

In addition, recovery of the pig industry would be compromised because of the expected need to cull British rare breed pigs for disease control purposes, heavily compromising genetic pools.

Richard Pearson, president of the Pig Veterinary Society, said incursion of the ASF virus would be ‘absolutely devastating’.

‘The ASF virus is hardy and is able to survive in an infective state in pork and pork products for a considerable time,’ he said. ‘Previous spread of ASF has been attributed to people carrying infected pork products, which are then eaten by pigs, possibly by careless disposal of food waste.’

He added: ‘This is a particular risk with wild boar gaining access...

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Is Europe doing enough to tackle ASF?

By Josh Loeb

Support is growing for introducing a UK-wide ban on all pig products originating from countries affected by ASF – including those in the EU.

The National Pig Association (NPA) has said it supports UK pig farmers’ calls for an all-out ban.

‘As a trade association representing the British pig industry we would dearly love to keep pork products from affected countries out,’ the NPA told Vet Record, ‘but EU rules on trade mean legally we cannot stop it.’

A core part of the bloc’s ‘regionalisation’ approach entails shutting down the pig meat trade from particular areas within affected EU countries, rather than stopping the trade from such countries wholesale.

‘Restricted’ areas within affected EU countries are categorised using several different tiers, ranging from the least serious (stage 1) to the most serious (stage 4), when the disease is considered ‘endemic’.

Currently only Sardinia is at stage...

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RCVS pushed to defend telemedicine decision

By Georgina Mills

The BVA has expressed disappointment at the RCVS making a decision about telemedicine and remote prescribing behind closed doors.

In a press release issued this week, the RCVS said that council members had unanimously given the go-ahead for a ‘wide-ranging review’ of a number of key provisions of the supporting guidance to the Code of Professional Conduct. This includes the interpretation of ‘under his care’, which would have to be changed if vets were allowed to prescribe remotely via telemedicine.

The move follows previous council discussions about a potential trial to develop telemedicine in the veterinary sector, including remote prescribing. The RCVS said any trial of this kind would be postponed ‘for the foreseeable future and certainly until the conclusion of this review’.

Despite stating that the review would require wide engagement from all relevant sectors, the decision was made in a closed session at a...

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RCVS to charge vets for not doing CPD

By Josh Loeb

Vets who refuse to respond to repeated RCVS enquiries about their continuing professional development (CPD) could in future be billed for the cost of the time and effort spent chasing them.

Serially non-compliant vets and registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) look set to be charged a new administration fee after 32 council members voted 31 in favour (with one abstention) to accept the plan in principle.

The level of fee and other details are yet to be determined, but RCVS council member Sue Paterson described the move as constituting a ‘stick’ rather than a ‘carrot’ approach to the problem.

‘I don’t want to stereotype, but there’s a group of veterinary surgeons who feel that they don’t need to do CPD because they’ve been qualified for a certain length of time and they know everything there is to know,’ said Paterson, the incoming chair of the RCVS education...

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Action to halt a swift decline

Efforts to boost the numbers of swifts in the UK are increasingly needed as the birds face growing challenges from nature and people. Kathryn Clark explains

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Flexible payments for pet owners

Pet owners are being offered a new method of flexible payment that promises they will be able ‘to make the best treatment options for their pets’.

Swedish payment company Klarna has joined forces with healthcare payment specialist Finance 4 Group to revolutionise payments in the veterinary, optical and dental industries.

The new partnership means practices that are signed up to Finance 4 Group will now have access to Klarna’s ‘Slice it’ credit account solution.

‘Slice it’ allows pet owners to slice their bills into monthly instalments, to make treatments more accessible and affordable. The new partnership will help consumers who need to pay for significant work, where cost could be a barrier to making the best decisions for their pet, the companies say.

The collaboration is the first step in a wider partnership, which will be looking to add innovative payment options in the future – recognising the demand...

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Compendium app

The latest version of the National Office of Animal Health’s compendium app offers useful new features for practitioners.

The app is updated daily with the latest information on more than 1000 animal medicines. As long as users allow their phone to connect to the internet each day, the app will update automatically. Ambulatory vets will no longer have to rely on internet access to obtain up-to-date information.

It also includes the ability to scan datamatrix barcodes on veterinary medicinal product packaging, taking users directly to product information, as well as offering the opportunity to search by medication, manufacturer or global trade item number.

The app can be downloaded free from the App Store and Google Play. The compendium can also be accessed free of charge online at

National Office of Animal Health, 3 Crossfield Chambers, Gladbeck Way, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 7HF, telephone 020 8367 3131

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Veterinary Products

IoLight, UK creator of the world’s first high-resolution portable microscope, has announced that its ‘digital portable microscope’ has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The focus of the patent is the microscope’s unique folding feature, making it compact and light enough for in-the-field use, while still delivering detailed images.

Boehringer Ingelheim is marking the 20th anniversary of the launch of Metacam (meloxicam). Originally licensed for use in dogs, the company says it quickly became the first preferential NSAID approved for use in cattle, initially in Europe and then worldwide. Apart from its anti-inflammatory, anti-exudative, anti-endotoxic, antipyretic, analgesic and anti-endotoxic properties, it also has a good safety profile and a long-lasting effect, the company says. It is now also used in horses, cats and guinea pigs.

Yeson UK has launched a range of high-pressure steam sterilisation autoclaves, which it says delivers consistently reliable sterilisation...

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Bayer Animal Health GmbH and Nutreco have signed a global research and development collaboration agreement to drive the development of novel technologies and applications for the animal health and nutrition industries. Their shared goal is ‘the development of game-changing solutions that promote animal wellbeing and sustainable farm profitability by enhancing the nutritional and health performance of farm animals’. The first joint project will focus on advancing innovative solutions for gastrointestinal health in dairy and beef cattle. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Boehringer Ingelheim and the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China, have jointly unveiled the first ‘industry-academia-research’ exchange platform set up by an agricultural research institute and a multinational animal health company in China. As the first milestone in the long-term strategic partnership between the two parties, the exchange platform will foster the integration of teaching, research and production. It is committed to training top-level global veterinary professionals,...

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Licensed injectable sedative for horses

Jurox (UK) has announced the addition of a UK-licensed injectable acepromazine to its equine anaesthesia range.

AceSedate for horses is the newest addition to the company’s anaesthesia, analgesia and sedation portfolio. It contains 10 mg/ml acepromazine as the active ingredient, which means a lower dose volume is required compared with the non-UK-licensed equine acepromazine options available, the company says.

Acepromazine is a phenothiazine, which acts by inhibiting dopamine pathways. The company reports that its benefits include a reduced risk of death when used alone as a pre-med. Apart from having a marked dose-sparing effect on the amount of other anaesthetic agents that may be required, it also smooths induction and recovery, decreasing the likelihood of catecholamine secretion. It also reduces the sensitivity of the myocardium to catecholamines and reduces the cardiac workload, helping to maintain perfusion and decrease the chance of myocardial hypoxia, Jurox adds.

At low doses, acepromazine...

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PetSavers downloadable guides for dog owners

Charity PetSavers, which is part of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), has introduced a new series of canine-focused downloadable guides that aim to provide pet owners with reliable additional advice if their dog has been diagnosed with a specific veterinary condition.

The initiative is part of BSAVA’s commitment to promote excellence in small animal practice.

The series of ‘My dog’s got ...’ guides provide practical information on a range of common topics:

  • My dog has dental disease

  • My dog has diabetes

  • My dog has itchy skin

  • My dog has kidney disease; and

  • My dog does not like other dogs.

  • The new guides join PetSavers’ library of general online information on puppies, kittens, rabbits and guinea pigs, as well as caring for elderly pets and dealing with the loss of a pet.

    Printed versions of the new guides can be ordered by...

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    Exotic animals in captivity: can we meet their welfare needs?

    Matthew Limb reports from a debate at the Animal Welfare Foundation Discussion Forum on keeping exotic animals as pets.

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    In brief

    Recognition for risk analysis and modelling centre

    The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the APHA have been jointly recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)as an OIE collaborating centre in risk analysis and modelling.

    The designation is for an initial fixed term of five years.

    There are currently more than 55 OIE collaborating centres worldwide, offering expertise on 49 different topics related to animal health.

    The RVC/APHA centre will provide expert support and services in risk analysis and modelling to the OIE using expertise from the RVC’s veterinary epidemiology, economics and public health group and the APHA’s department of epidemiological sciences. It will also collaborate with other centres, laboratories and organisations to develop various methods, procedures and studies.

    Emma Snary, head of epidemiological sciences at the APHA, said: ‘We are very pleased that the expertise in risk analysis and modelling at APHA and RVC has been recognised...

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    Equine disease surveillance: quarterly update

    Equine disease surveillance headlines

  • Round up of equine news

  • Summary of UK disease surveillance for January to March 2019

  • 2019 marks 15 years of quarterly equine disease surveillance reports by Defra, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).

    The addition of national disease surveillance reports for horses, ponies and donkeys to those already produced for farmed livestock and wildlife was part of a UK government commitment to enhance veterinary surveillance, described in a strategy document published in 2003.

    The equine disease surveillance reports aimed to bring industry and government together to collate anonymised quarterly information on the numbers of diagnostic tests performed and to discuss positive results obtained for specified equine infections and disease syndromes arising from the broad network of diagnostic laboratories that serves the equine industry in the UK. The intention was also that these data would be...

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    Pseudopregnancy in goats - an important cause of subfertility

    Pseudopregnancy – also called pseudocyesis or false pregnancy – is a very common condition of goats that, in some herds, can significantly reduced fertility. The condition occurs in goats of any breed and in any management system, but it is perhaps more thoroughly studied in dairy goats. It is typified by an aseptic accumulation of clear fluid in the uterus, termed hydrometra, and a persistent corpus luteum (Fig 1). It is thought that the accumulation of fluid is caused by the persistent corpus luteum, rather than the reverse.

    Pseudopregnancy is usually first detected between days 29 and 38 of the luteal phase (ie, after oestrus).1 Progesterone levels are similar to those observed during normal pregnancy (ie, serum levels greater than 1 ng/ml). However, these levels decline over time, eventually resulting in the spontaneous evacuation of the uterus.2 The duration of pseudopregnancy is quite...

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